Johannesburg, South Africa (NBC) — South Africans awoke Friday morning to the news that their former president, Nelson Mandela, died late Thursday at the age of 95.
Mandela had been ailing for nearly a year from a recurring lung condition which dates back to the 27 years he spent in Apartheid jails.
This morning, many South Africans gathered outside his Johannesburg home to mourn, and celebrate the life of the man they call the father of their nation.
The news of Mandela's death was announced very late South African time Thursday night, just before midnight, so inevitably now many millions of South Africans are waking up to the news that the "father of this nation" has passed away, and many hundreds of them are coming to his suburban mansion where he spent many of his final years.
The mood isn't somber, there have been very few tears shed here, in fact there are people actually coming to celebrate his life and to celebrate the lives they've been able to lead because of his sacrifice.
Mandela's funeral will be held Sunday, December 15, South African President Jacob Zuma announced early Friday morning.